Speaking with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, ArenaNet's Martin Kerstein says that no, this is the real deal -- Guild Wars 2 will feature a "living, breathing world" unlike anything we've seen to date: "What we try to do with Guild Wars 2 anyway is to break a lot of the existing conventions, like by getting rid of quests and basically totally focusing on dynamic events. So you just run through the world and happen on stuff, and that stuff has an impact on the world... The good thing is those events run even if there are no players involved -- if there are no players, the enemy will take over and you'll have to get it back before you can actually do anything. That's why it feels more organic and breathing."
Shattering conventions is a favorite pastime at ArenaNet, as the company has made a public declaration that it is not afraid to go against the MMO flow. In the interview, Kerstein also addresses the cycle of dynamic events, World of Warcraft's subscriber decline ("It's an older game as well -- some people are maybe just tired," he said), and Warhammer Online's flawed Public Quest system.